#6 American Athletic Conference
Houston remains the team to beat, and probably has a bit more of a lead than they did last year. Still it should be another good year for the AAC.
AAC – West
- University of Houston – Cougars – 12-0 / 8-0: This could be a perfect storm for the Cougars. With an invitation on the line or in hand they’re going to open the season at home (yes I know it’s the NFL stadium) against OU. Win that one, and they could be coasting into a NYE bowl, and a CFB Playoff berth wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities.
- University of Memphis – Tigers – 9-3 / 6-2: New coach Mike Norvell has plenty to work with, but as a rookie head coach (never done it anywhere any level) will he be able to pull it together? If he does the Tigers will have another nice year.
- Naval Academy – Midshipmen – 8-4 / 5-3: Navy will be off a bit this year, but still doing well. Their problem is good teams on the road.
- Tulsa University – Golden Hurricane – 8-4 / 5-3: Tulsa is going to have some really weak teams on the road, and all the middle of the pack teams in Skelly stadium. If they play it right they can wind up with a nice record.
- Tulane University – Green Wave – 3-9 / 1-7: If the Green Wave was hoping for a rising tide to get them into the Big XII expansion picture, they’ll have to hope academics are enough. Being able to beat 3 of the worst teams in CFB at home is not going to put a sheen on this wave.
- Southern Methodist University – Mustangs – 2-10 / 0-8: SMU better stop reminding people they once won games in the SWC when they could buy players, and make sure they are ready to win against North Texas and Liberty or they can add another 0’fer to their history.
AAC – East
- Temple University – Owls – 9-3 / 6-2: The Owls will be in position to match last year’s record, and get a shot at Houston in the CCG. Although with a trip to State College they probably won’t get a quality ooc win.
- University of South Florida – Bulls – 9-3 / 6-2: USF will continue their surge although I don’t see them beating FSU, I do see them getting a win @Syracuse. Playing at Temple will push them out of the CCG.
- University of Connecticut – Huskies – 9-3 / 5-3: While the Huskies will be able to handle 3 ACC teams (Virginia, Syracuse, & @Boston College) trips to Annapolis, Houston, and Tampa will push them out of the CCG.
- University of Cincinnati – Bearcats – 6-6 / 3-5: Cincy will have a tough season, and the schedule is going to play a large part in it. While a Sept 10 trip to Purdue gives them a B1G win, they will turn around and get beaten at home the next week by Houston. They also get Memphis at home which probably winds up a loss. Then add trips to UConn, Temple, and Tulsa, and you have a formula for a decent team hanging on for bowl eligibility.
- East Carolina University (or Ecuador as they’ve become known in the #Big12Expansion twitterverse) – Pirates – 4-8 / 2-6: The Pirates may be able to steal a win at Columbia this year, but outside of that they are short on teams they can beat at home, and getting a lot of teams they couldn’t beat anywhere there. That’s always a formula for a real lack of success when it comes to marginal teams.
- University of Central Florida – Knights – 2-10 / 0-8: This year gets a little better as South Carolina State and Maryland come to Orlando. Outside of that the cupboard is bare, and the record will reflect that.